Friday, March 25, 2011

Day #7 of Doll Class - Kachina Dolls

Today, the kids learned about Kachina spirit dolls.  I showed them a Kachina doll and read them a picture book about Kachinas.  Then they made their own dolls, using clothespins as armatures, Crayola Model Magic as sculpting material, and twigs, feathers, and tiny shells for embellishment.  They immediately understood the idea of creating a doll that embodied an entity from the spirit world.  I love how young children are so connected to the universe. 

The book is "The Lost Kachina" by Heather Irbinskas.
One child made a Cat Spirit Kachina, in honor of her dead cat.  There was also a Hermit Crab Spirit, embodying the spirit of a dearly departed, beloved crab.

We also had a Beach Spirit, representing the spirit of everything beachy.  There was also a Robot Spirit.  These little doll makers are THE BEST!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I figured out what to do with my doll shards.

I decided to try my hand at cotton spun ornaments.  I started with little doll shards like this one:
I bought the shards from a lady who had ordered them in bulk on ebay.  They had been buried in the mud of Thuringia, Germany, behind old doll factories for many, many years.  Most of them are from the turn of the century. Some of them had Thuringian dirt in them - very romantic.  Thuringian dirt.

First, I painted the heads and put some finish on them so that they wouldn't chip.
Then I made wire armatures for the bodies.  Next, I wrapped the armatures with cotton roving, which I got on ebay.   Here's what it looked like at this stage:

I need to work on making the cotton more even.  Oh well.  This was my first attempt.  I'm also going to try different sources for cotton roving, to see if they vary in quality and texture.  After the wrapping, I painted the cotton with thinned acrylic craft paint.  I've also read that you can dye the cotton.  That would probably be very pretty.  Then I glued on the heads with tacky glue and decorated the painted cotton bodies with little bits of fabric, wool roving, crepe paper, buttons, and lace.  Then I sprayed them with glitter spray to make them festive.   They range in size from 2" - 5".  Here are my Thuringian shards, transformed into little holiday children:

If you want to give cotton spun ornaments a try, but you have no idea how to start, Martha Stewart has a couple of tutorials that helped me:
Cotton spun Easter bunny
Lucy's ornaments

Also, do image searches for cotton spun ornaments and you'll come up with plenty of photos of adorable ornaments.

I haven't ordered anything from this website yet, but it looks like they have LOTS of spun ornament supplies: Blumchen and Company

Happy Holidays!

What I've been doing the past few days...I must be nuts!

Last holiday season, I went to Edyth's house and saw her darling feather trees with her dollies sitting around them and I was green with envy.  I started poking around the internet and found a great tutorial on making feather trees - it's hereI ordered supplies from this website.  Here's my tiny little tree!

Don't the feathers look like pine needles?  I was so excited!  For the base, I have a 2 inch wooden cube that I'm going to paint.  I plan to make a bigger tree because Edyth's was bigger and I'm a copycat.   Here's what her trees look like.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Turkey Red Dress for Delphine

Delphine has a turkey red dress, made from reproduction early 1800's fabric.  Here's some history on turkey red dye:

I painted a fancy rim of a chemise onto her body.  I noticed this detail in the book German Papier Mache Dolls 1760 - 1860, by Christine Grafnitz.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Beautifully Old

My two china heads - a good friend sent the heads to me.  They were in need of some love and attention.  Both have broken breastplates, but as you can see, their hearts are full!

Nobody has to know that they aren't perfect under their clothes.  Aren't we all flawed?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Day #6 of doll class - yarn dolls!

What's better than creating? Here are some good instructions for making yarn dolls:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wild Rose and her eaglet - Cloth and Clay storybook challenge dolls

Here are Wild Rose and her eaglet, hanging out in a tree together, just like they do in the Romanian fairy tale called "Wild Rose."  You can read the story here:
Wild Rose is sculpted paper clay with a stockinette cover.  She has a skirt made of needle felted wool and feathers.  Her hair is mohair.  The eaglet is needle felted wool. 
He looks kind of pitiful here.
Wild Rose is 7 inches tall.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Little Wild Rose - Storybook Challenge doll

Little Wild Rose is from a Romanian fairy tale about a little girl who gets raised by eagles, in a nest in a tree.  Now I need to make an eagle and a nest.  She's for the Cloth and Clay storybook challenge.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Happy Girl's Day! Day #5 of Doll Class

We had a Japanese Girl's Day celebration in our doll class this week.  One of the traditions of Girl's Day is to display dolls in a very special way.

I read this book to the girls in class.

The girls made little origami dolls and clothespin kokeshi dolls.

Happy Girl's Day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Naomi - Dixie's IW pattern, 23" doll

5 minutes in 1999 - a tale of two chairs and three toddlers

Allie, Christopher, Patrick

I was reminded of these photos while I was posing Naomi, my new doll, in the little wooden chair that Allie has vacated in this shot.  Allie has her eye on Patrick's chair.  Christopher is preparing himself for his future with an orthodontist in this photo.

Allie demonstrates how to remove a brother from a chair.  Squeeze in from behind and try to act casual.

Now Christopher gets the red chair.

More chair shuffling.  Pat and Christopher play the bongos.

Allie solves the chair issue by relocating.

End of 5 minutes.  Maybe it was only 30 seconds.  A lot can happen to three toddlers in 30 seconds.  A lot can happen to three 13-year-olds in 30 seconds too.